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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  September 22, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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>> i have a following. people like me. >> i got nothing more to . welcome to the orange county convention center in orlando, florida where in just 27 hours, republican presidential candidates will make their cases on why they should represent their party against president obama next fall. good evening. i'm bret baier and this is a special edition of "special report." in the next hour, we will take the pulse of the florida political scene, talk with some local experts, and look ahead to how the sunshine state will affect the 2012 presidential election. we begin tonight 1,000 miles north of here in new york where the united nations general assembly is meeting. the big issue is the changing face of the middle east and what to do about the palestinians.
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at this hour, president obama is scheduled to meet with the head of the palestinian authority and senior white house foreign affairs correspondent wendell goler reports the president admitted earlier things have not worked out as he had hoped. >> a year after telling the u.n. general assembly it might be able to recognize a new state of palestine at this session, president obama admitted his disappointment. >> i know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress. i assure you, so am i. the question isn't the goal that we seek. the question is how do we reach that goal? >> mr. obama also said the u.n. can't resolve the issues standing in the way of palestinian statehood. >> ultimately, it's the israelis and the palestinians, not us, who must reach agreement on issues that divide them. on borders and on security. on refugees and jerusalem. >> his aides have already said the u.s. will veto a security council resolution if necessary, something israeli prime minister netanyahu called a badge of honor.
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>> and i want to thank you for wearing that badge of honor and also to express my hope that others will follow. >> but with anti-american protests already starting in the region, officials fear a u.s. veto could trigger a new round of palestinian violence. french president sarkozy suggested the general assembly could offer them nonvoting observer status, with the understanding in a negotiations with the israelis would resume. >> they have one month to resume discussions. six months to agree -- to find an agreement on borders and security. one year to reach a definitive agreement. >> still experts say abbas would be committing political suicide by not delivering on his u.n. promise and may lose power for failing to deliver in negotiations with israel. palestinian negotiator says abbas won't back down. >> he's already committed himself and he's a man who keeps his credibility with his people and with the world. i'm sure he's not going to go back on it.
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>> in his first autumn following the arab spring, president obama played up america's role in removing dictators from libya, ivory coast and other areas and bringing justice to the world's worst terrorists. >> the gadhafi regime is over. ben ali, mubarak are no longer in power. osama bin laden is gone and the idea that change could only come through violence has been buried with him. >> his critics might say the president exaggerated the united states' role. but in his speech, he read from the u.n. charter which calls on member states to, quote, unite our strength to maintain international peace and security. bret? >> bret: wendell goler, thank you. now back here to orlando and politics. a new nationwide gallup poll states that for the first time, more than half of those surveyed blame president obama for the current economy. 53% assign him moderate or
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significant responsibility. 69% still blame president bush for the economic problems. getting a new president will be the focus of the people on stage during tomorrow night's debate. the event is part of multi-day push by the gop hopefuls eager to get a foothold in this very important state. chief political correspondent carl cameron tells us some of the candidates are not waiting until thursday night to try to win votes. >> with florida and national polls suggesting the race is tightening between rick perry and mitt romney, he ripped the claim that social security is an unconstitutional federal failure that should be run by the states. >> this does not work in any way, shape, or form. >> in miami, romney rattled off a series of rapid fire rhetorical questions designed to make perry's idea for states to provide social security seem impossible. >> what would happen to the social security trust fund if you sent social security back to the states? how would they divide it? would it be florida's
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responsibility to meet these social security needs of everyone who comes to florida? how would you deal with people moving? what happens if one of the states you lived in didn't have it? what happens if one of those states got in financial trouble and raided their fund? >> romney would raise the retirement age for future beneficiaries and lower social security cost of living increases for wealthy seniors. >> i believe in social security. there are tens of millions of americans who rely upon social security to meet their needs. i want to protect it. i want to save it. >> perry held a pair of private fund-raisers in south florida, while aides hit back hard, accusing romney of acting like a democrat and trying to scare seniors. perry released a web video produced by former candidate tim pawlenty's ex ad man that skips over the gop race and fits perry against the obama economy. >> no jobs created this year. >> people are demoralized. >> the video blames mr. obama,
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but before perry runs again the president, he must get past his gop rivals, romney, chief among them. romney accused perry of a history of policy positions that encouraged illegal immigration. >> governor perry opposes the fence. opposes the arizona law, put in place, i call it a magnet to draw people into the country illegally, which is a sign you're going to get a tuition break if you're an illegal alien to go to state schools. >> the republican race is intensifying, the debates are becoming more combative. in part because they think president obama is increasingly vulnerable to defeat. 49% of voters will never vote for barak obama. for an incumbent in the democratic party, that's frightening. republicans could hardly be more excited. >> bret: carl cameron, just outside. we'll find out what you want the candidates to answer thursday in orlando. your questions will be part of our debate co-sponsored by
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google and the republican party of florida. you can look at some of the questions already submitted at the final total, almost 19,000 questions were submitted and 109,000 votes on those questions. a public already weary with down to the wire washington stand-offs may have to endure another one very soon. chief congressional correspondent mike emmanuel reports on the latest battle to avoid a government shut down. >> a proposal failed because of republican defections and pushback by democrats. the odds of a government shut down just went up. with the government starting a new fiscal year october 1 and no annual spending bills passed by congress, there is a risk of a government shutdown again. a continuing resolution includes $3.65 billion for fema in the wake of multiple disasters, including the texas wildfires and devastation from hurricane
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irene. >> we are forgetting the people the disaster relief they need and that's why what you'll see is cr that will pass the house floor and go over to the senate. >> republicans offset some of that disaster money by stripping a department of energy account providing loans to auto companies to develop green vehicles. for that, democratic whip hoyer predicted the vast majority of democrats would vote no. >> it's unfortunate that the republicans have chosen once again to put in a poison pill that they knew we would not agree to in a piece of legislation they know has to pass. >> senate majority leader harry reid says he will move to strike the offset provision and smaller disaster package. reid would replace it with a nearly $7 billion senate approved aid bill which ten senate republicans supported last week. if it passes the senate again and returns to the house with a new higher price tag, house republicans are threatening to withdraw support. >> i heard the reports that
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senator mcconnell said there will be no shut down. i am not that sure. i'm not that sure because the tea party driven house of representatives has been so unreasonable. >> for now, cantor is blaming reid. >> it is only harry reid that is talking about or threatening shutdown. it's not us. >> meanwhile, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell, who predicted no shutdown will occur, chose instead to take aim at president obama's jobs plan. >> his communication director is telling people the president doesn't really expect the bill to pass. the democratic majority leader of the senate is treating it like a legislative afterthought. >> back to the government funding bill, at least 45 republicans voted no, bucking their leadership. so it is back to the drawing board in the house and at this hour, house republican leadership is meeting behind closed doors to determine their next move. bret? >> bret: mike emmanuel. thank you. the federal reserve announced its latest move to try to kick start the economy.
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"fox business" network correspondent peter barns is live in washington with details. good evening. >> good evening. the fed announced an economic stimulus program it has not used in 50 years. restructuring its $2.8 trillion portfolio by selling some of its shorter term debt securities to buy longer term ones, $400 billion worth. the fed said it hopes that move will help ease lending and put downward pressure on longer term interest rates, such as for mortgages. on the outlook for the economy, it said it expects some pick up in the recovery in coming -- but the fed also said economic growth remains slow. the unemployment rate will decline only gradually, and that there are significant down side risks to the economic outlook, including strains in global financial markets. everybody knows that means europe. >> europe is the number one down side risk. there is probably 50/50 chance of europe going into recession and if europe goes into recession, i don't necessarily
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think that means the u.s. goes into recession, but it means close to zero growth. >> starting friday, global financial leaders will gather here in washington for the annual meetings of the imf and world bank, helping europe avoid a total financial meltdown as the top item on the agenda. also today, bret, the fed crossed republican leaders in congress. late yesterday, they released a letter to the fed saying, quote, we submit that the board should resist further extraordinary intervention in the u.s. economy. they questioned how much previous moves have helped economic growth and job creation and said fed policies may be hurting the dollar and encouraging more consumer debt. no comment from the fed tonight. bret? >> bret: okay. we'll watch it. thank you. the fed move did not sit well with investors. the dow fell sharply after the announcement, finishing off 284 points. the s & p 500 dropped 35. nasdaq lost 52. sales of previously occupied
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homes were up 7.7% in august. but that was fueled by an increase in foreclosures. moody's has lowered the debt ratings for bank of america, wells fargo, and citigroup. it says it's less likely the government would step in and prevent them from fail not guilty a crisis. bank of america was hit hardest. its long-term debt downgraded two steps. we'll tell you how some world leaders are living large at the u.n. meeting. that's later in the grapevine. but first, secret u.s. bases that aren't secret anymore:
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>> bret: in world news now, the two american hikers held in iran for more than two years are free tonight. shane bauer and josh fattal left the country and flew out after
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their attorney posted bail of a half million dollars apiece. they had been convicted on espionage charges in iran that they said were untrue. >> we are sincerely grateful that the government of oman hosted us and our families. two years in prison is too long and we sincerely hope for the freedom of other political prisoners and other unjustly imprisoned people in america and iran. >> bret: the war on terror is expanding tonight in the world news finding out about it. national security correspondent jennifer griffin reports on news of what was supposed to be a series of secret bases for the use of drone aircraft. >> mq 9 rebirth, unmanned, but can be armed with missiles along with 500-pound bombs. now it turns out that starting in 2009, the u.s. military began establishing a network of secret bases in the horn of africa so
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that the american drones could be used to target a growing network of al-qaeda affiliates in somalia and yemen. yemen is where senior al-qaeda leader anwar al-awlaki remains at large, the man behind the christmas day 2009 bombing attempt and a mentor of the fort hood shooter. >> al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula has emerged as the most dangerous regional note in the global jihad. >> the dronette work includes the sechells and jabuti. they originally wanted to base them in ethiopia according to a military official with knowledge of the program's origin. when permission first stalled, the u.s. government set up the alternative in the seychelles. they introduced the reaper to the island. publicly, they said the drones were needed to combat piracy off the horn of africa. but leaked state department
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cables suggest they were also needed for counterterrorism operations targeting the somali affiliate. officials recently said the u.s. drones continue to fly unarmed surveillance missions. but classified cables obtained by wikileaks suggests the intent is to eventually arm those drones. sources confirm the u.s. military is now operating out of ethiopia, but still has to rely on a base in jabuti for armed missions. to counter the al-qaeda threat in yemen, the c.i.a. is now building a runway on the arabian peninsula to increase its ability to carry out more drone strikes in yemen. bret? >> bret: jennifer griffin, thank you. still ahead, can president obama take florida again in 2012? and up next, congress asks, is google too
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>> bret: there is a new accusation tonight that a federal official has undermined and object strucked the investigation into the government gun tracking program known as operation fast and furious by releasing secretly recorded audio tapes. now an update from los angeles. >> it was either the biggest snitch ever in this industry or i'm working for you. >> that's andre howard, owner of the lone wolf gun store speaking to hope mcallister, lead atf agent in the fast and furious case. howard secretly taped mcallister after becoming convinced the atf was lying to him about stopping the guns he sold before they reached members of the mexican cartels. >> he was acting under the direct supervision of the
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department of justice and atf. he thought he was making a difference and that these people were being arrested and that there were going to be indictments and that there were going to be prosecutions. >> larry is howard's lawyer, records show lone wolf sold more than 1,000 weapons to suspected buyers, including those guns allegedly used to kill border agent brian terry. >> agent terry's death just brought just a tremendous amount of i guess regret and sorrow and disappointment, disgust. >> whistle blower agent larry is speaking out for the first time after mcallister disparaged his family at one of the recordings. here she says the f.b.i. found three guns at terry's murder scene. not two, as the agency claimed. >> there are three weapons. >> three weapons. >> i know that. >> two came from the store. >> the f.b.i. says mcallister is wrong. police found two guns at the scene. the lawyer involved in the case
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said an f.b.i. field agent mistook a rifle for an ak 47. even though the ak is much shorter. regardless, he claims his client was set up as the fall guy by former atf phoenix chief bill newel. >> he thought he was helping the good guy and had no way of knowing that those guys were going to crime scenes in the united states and in mexico. >> senator grassley and congressman darryl issa released a letter moments ago demanding to know why the justice department's inspector general shared those audio tapes with the u.s. attorney in arizona and ultimately agent mcallister herself, both targets of their probe? the lawmakers say the release harmed and compromised their investigation. bret? >> bret: we will continue to follow it here. william, thank you. the head of one of the most powerful companies in the world was on the hot seat today on capitol hill. doug reports on questions from lawmakers about whether google
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has too much power. >> 15 years ago, google didn't exist. today, to google something is a common phrase or act. google's domination over its competition that captured 75% of search engine profits, today raised the scrutiny of the senate judiciary committee's antitrust subcommittee. >> given its significant ability to steer e commerce and the flow of on-line information, google is in a position to help determine who will succeed and who will fail on the internet. >> at the heart of senator's concerns is the accusation that google not only answers search queries, but critics say directs users to products and web sites it owns or favors. >> you run the racetrack. you own the racetrack. for a long time you had no horses. now you have horses and you have control over where those horses are placed and your horses seem to be winning. >> it won't surprise you to say that i disagree with that
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completely. google does nothing to block access to any of the competitors and other sources of information. we encourage it. >> he told senators that his company is run with one purpose. >> we run the company for the benefit of the consumers, frankly, not for the other web sites. >> that, an important distinction. many legal experts believe monopoly status occurs when they're agreed. there are complexities that show up what comes up. competitors believe those may hold evidence of intelligences of a monopoly. >> today google doesn't play fair. google rigs its results biasing in favor of google shopping, and against competitors like us. >> google maintains that its algo rhythms are proprietary and to release them would open the company to hack attacks. one of today's panelists, former antitrust enforcer at the ftc told senators that she does not believe google constitutes a
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monopoly, but as long as consumers have the ability to try somebody else's search results with a mouse click, there is effective competition. bret? >> bret: doug, thank you. we are partnered up with google for tomorrow night's debate. eric schmidt will join me here in orlando for tomorrow's show. world leaders live it up at the united nations. we'll tell you about it on the grapevine. grapevine. why did president obama do this? [ male announcer ] you love the taste of 2% milk. but think about your heart. 2% has over half the saturated fat of whole milk. want to cut back on fat and not compromisen taste? try smart balance fat free milk. it's what you'd expect from the folks at smart balance.
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>> bret: now from orlando, florida, a special united nations political grapevine. many world leaders and diplomats are enjoying the finer things in life during their new york stay for the general assembly. the "new york post" reports rwanda's president is staying in a $16,000 a night presidential suite at the mandarin oriental featuring panoramic views of the city skyline. that nightly rate is 31 times rwanda's annual average income, according to the state department. saudi leaders are staying at the plaza. and reportedly visited the hotel salon for grooming. royals dropped by a posh fashion house where one of the sheiks dropped six figures. and another stopped in paris where she reportedly bought more
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than $100,000 worth of designer shoes. president obama had a photo fail during a united nations group picture tuesday night. the attendees smiled, the cameras flashed, as you see here, but after a while, president obama had enough of the flash bulbs. he raised his hand and joked, photographers had to have gotten at least one good shot. but that exact moment, president obama's hand completely obscured the man standing next to him who happened to be the president of mongolia. the well-timed shot was so good, a lot of folks actually thought it was photo shopped. it was not. orlando, florida will be the center of the political universe thursday night as republican presidential candidates square off in our fox news-google debate. tonight correspondents shannon bream looks at whether president obama can count on the sunshine state to come through for him again in 2012.
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>> if you will vote for me. >> in 2008, then senator barak obama won florida's presidential election by winning over the state's independents. 52% of independent voters here cast their ballots for obama, but that same bloc now has serious doubts about the president's ability to do his job. >> in addition to the economy, they're also concerned about the president's leadership, president obama's leadership. right now most recent polls show that president obama is doing terribly among independent voters in florida. >> according to the latest poll, 33% of florida independents approve of the president's job performance. while 61% say they disapprove. given the make-up of the state's registered voters, that group has the power to influence the entire 2012 election. 41% of the florida's voters are registered as democrats. 36% as republicans. and 23% have chosen not to register with either party. >> the democrats that voted for barak obama in 2008 and
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independents that voted for barak obama in 2008 aren't feeling as excited about his campaign, about his candidacy as they did a few years ago. >> including bobby marijuana, who voted for him in 2008. >> i'm trying to hold on as much as i can 'cause i like the guy. but so far he hasn't shown us anything. a little disappointed. >> thank you. >> now says he would consider voting for mitt romney if he were the nominee. others claim object observe has delivered is because he inherited a mess from president bush. and now a gop-controlled house is blocking his progress. they want him to get a second chance and a second term. >> i do think that he will be able to make everything better, make improvements and i really think the economy has gotten better. >> experts caution the candidates must remember florida is made up of a diverse mix of voters, from those in the panhandle still recovering from the bp oil still, to those who work for nasa.
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shannon bream, fox news. >> bret: georgia death row inmate troy davis has asked the u.s. supreme court to stop his execution, scheduled to happen in less than a half hour. protesters are gathered at the prison in jackson and at vigils around the world. tuesday the state's pardons board refused to grant clemency to him despite appeals from many high profile supporters. davis' advocates say several witnesses have recanted their original testimony against him. no word yet about u.s. supreme court action. when we come back, we'll talk about the president's u.n. speech and the palestinian situation. the fox all stars join me here in orlando after the break.
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>> i'm convinced that any one of the people on that stage, the republican debate, we'll have a debate on thursday, in orlando, will probably have eight or nine people on the stage, any one of them would be a better president than president obama. >> with the help and the courage of the american people, we will get our country working again. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. >> bret: welcome back to orlando, one day before the big debate. here you saw governor perry's new tv ad. also a statement from governor romney in miami about the debate tomorrow. we thought we'd talk local politics and bring local political experts. joining me now, william manche, senior political writer. reporter shannon butler of fox affiliate, wofl in orlando. and professor steven gray of the university of florida.
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thank you all for being here. really appreciate it. william, let's start with you. what's on the minds of floridians? what's most important? what do you think is getting overplayed? >> the economy is the biggest thing by far. florida has been one of the states hurt worst by the economic bust. but the social security issue that's arisen in the campaign in the last couple of weeks is also going to make a pretty big splash here, i believe. >> bret: you were mentioning in the break, senator marco rubio and his campaign and how he ran on that issue effectively here in the state of florida. >> rubio did run on a reform social security platform and to some extent, he's been cited as having proved that that meant social security was no longer quite so much the third rail of politics. he touched it, he grabbed it, he jumped all over it and he did not die. rubio, however, did it a little bit different way than some of what we're hearing today.
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he softened his reform social security stance partly just by talking about his mother, his elderly mother who depends on the program. he never questioned the constitutionality or legitimacy of the program. >> bret: which texas governor rick perry has done in a book and has called it a ponzi scheme and obviously governor romney, shannon, has tried to beat him up on that very issue. what about you and that issue in particular and how it plays here in this state? >> i think people beat perry up a little bit too much about the calling it a ponzi scheme. i think here in florida, people just want someone to be straightforward with them and that means you call it a ponzi scheme and that's what you think, that's fine. the problem, i think, is he didn't give a plan to people. he said, oh, give it back to the states. i think that here they just want to know what your plan is. if that means it goes to states, if it stays with the feds, i don't know that they care yet what's going to happen, just tell them something so they can figure it out and then make a decision. i think it's getting a lot of play now because he said that.
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>> bret: but you still think the economy drives the day here? >> i do. i think jobs, at least when you talk about the i-4 corridor is really important here because of the space. we lost all those jobs at nasa and i think there are a lot of people out of work, they want to go back to work. the foreclosure rate is out of control in this state and i think number one, you've got to get these people back to work. >> bret: steve, politics, how it's playing here in the state, a new miami herald poll out today has governor romney and governor perry tied at the top. newt gingrich is actually next, i believe, in that poll. way down, how do you think the candidates are playing to florida and what's sticking? >> well, the candidates are playing reasonably well to florida, i suppose. but it's hard not to remember four years ago on the republican side when at this time of year, the top two candidates in the polls were rudy guiliani and fred thompson. i think that those candidates had some shortcomings that maybe these guys don't have, but
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nevertheless, it's awfully early to start thinking that it's all over. >> bret: do you see one campaign really dominating or trying to make a mark here in the state? >> they both are and they both need to. there is a sequence. florida is managing to position itself earlier. we're going to have an impact on the race in ways that we haven't in the past. but it's still pretty unsettled. >> bret: william, when you look at the polls about how president obama is doing in florida, we had a piece from shannon bream about this earlier, whether the president can hold this state again, it looks more grim for the white house. >> well, it doesn't look too good for obama right now. of course, he lost a lot of independents. the democrats are saying that he will come back, that the republicans are too extreme. florida is very much a purple state and it will still be a swing state. obama hasn't organized and worked in florida yet, at least
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as much as perry and romney. >> bret: what do you want to hear tomorrow night? >> i think they have to tell people how they're going to fix the economy here. this is such a diverse state and i think it could go any way. if you're going to be a candidate, you're going to win in this state, you better be diverse and you better travel around and you better be able to be kind of a camille onin this state. it would apply to everyone because it's such a grab bag here. >> bret: question tomorrow that you want to hear? >> these debates are great entertainment and they're a wonderful opportunity for the people who are paying attention to learn something about the candidate. but historically, debates don't decide anything. they really -- the political junkies, the hard core activists are who are the audience right now. >> bret: you never know. this could be the one. this could be the one. >> it could be the one if somebody steps in it, yes. absolutely it could be the one. >> bret: thank you all for being here. i really appreciate the time. that's it for the panel. stay tuned to hear a herey why
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president obama may have been giving so many speeches lately.
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>> bret: finally tonight, president obama has given a lot of speeches lately. one person thinks he knows why. >> yesterday, obama unveiled his deficit reduction plan with yet another fiery speech from the rose garden. i'm beginning to think he has locked himself out of the white house and is afraid to admit he can't find his keys. >> bret: we'll be right back here in orlando thursday night to preview our fox news republican candidate debate. your questions, of course, as we have been saying all along, will be a part of our debate co-sponsored by google and the republican party of florida. you can look at some the questions already submitted. 19,000 of them. news. thanks for inviting us into your home


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